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An Oklahoma County sheriff's major confronted his attackers shortly before being shot, witness testifies

Christopher Travis Baker is charged in a May 2011 shooting and robbery outside Cattlemen's Steakhouse in Oklahoma City that left John Waldenville blind in one eye.
by Tim Willert Modified: December 5, 2012 at 9:51 am •  Published: December 4, 2012

/articleid/3734572/1/pictures/1899817">Photo - Christopher Travis Baker
Christopher Travis Baker

Green testified that Waldenville didn't “seem concerned,” that they “were a couple of kids waiting for a ride.”

A Cattlemen's dishwasher testified about standing in front of the restaurant waiting for his mother to pick him up when he saw two black males in hooded sweatshirts and shorts standing in front of the restaurant just before Waldenville exited with the bank deposit.

Rickardo Cardenas said one of the males was Prince, a former Cattlemen's dishwasher who asked Cardenas for a cigarette.

Cardenas identified Baker as the other black male.

Cardenas told the jury that as soon as his mother pulled up, he saw “two men running toward the drugstore,” in the same direction as Waldenville.

“I had a really bad feeling … and then I heard a gunshot,” Cardenas said.

The dishwasher told his mother to drive around the block, where he saw Waldenville lying in the street. Cardenas attempted to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to Waldenville's eye with restaurant napkins.

Baker's attorney told jurors in his opening statement that prosecutors “got the wrong guy,” pointing the finger at Prince.

“Keonte Prince robbed Major Waldenville,” Craig Hoehns said. “Keonte Prince was part of it.”

Hoehns attempted to discredit the testimony of Cardenas, saying he told police he said he didn't get a good look at the second black male. The attorney also accused the dishwasher of selecting Baker because he was the only black man in the courtroom who was not the judge or a jury member.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel and more than a dozen deputies attended the first day of testimony.

Waldenville was not in the courtroom, but three of his sisters were. They declined to comment.

“It's difficult to know that we're sitting across the room from someone who's charged with the shooting of one of our own,” Whetsel said outside the courtroom during a break in the trial. has disabled the comments for this article.
by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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